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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ten sites identified for Cambridge United move

Abbey Stadium
Cambridge United have played their football at Abbey Stadium since 1932

Cambridge United's landlords have outlined 10 proposed sites for a new community stadium.

Grosvenor Estates have plans for a stadium and sports village which they hope to complete by 2017.

Three of the sites were indentified under a previous planning initiative, whilst another option is to move onto land already owned by Grosvenor.

They bought the Abbey for £3.5m in March 2010 with the aim of providing a new home for the U's.

The U's sold the Abbey to property developer Bideawhile in 2004 in a bid to avoid administration, which ultimately failed.

Grosvenor are aiming to relocate the club in a new state-of-the-art community facility and redevelop the Abbey for housing or retail.

The stadium development could include homes, office space and education facilities.

Chris White of Grosvenor's development partners Wrenbridge told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "This could potentially be a massive development.

Proposed sites for U's relocation:
Former landfill site at Milton
University owned land near Barton Road
County Council owned land near Trumpington Road
Land owned by Cambridge City Council on Cowley Road
Former Blue Circle quarry on Coldham's Lane
Land to the rear of ARM on Cherry Hinton Road
Land to the rear of Addenbrooke's Hospital
Trumpington Meadows development
Land owned by Marshalls close to Cambridge airport
Developement on former NIAB site in north west Cambridge

"Up to 90 acres with a certain amount for the stadium and 60 or 70 acres of residential led development."

There will also be potential to develop the club's community activity.

"The Cambridge United youth programme is at the heart of what we're trying to do here," White said.

"It's a programme with a real lack of facilities at the current time and would represent a true community use for the new stadium."

Three of the sites are those put forward by Cambridgeshire Horizons in 2008, whilst further options include land owned by Grosvenor as part of the Trumpington Meadows development and the former Blue Circle quarry.

"I think it's too premature to start naming a top two or three as we need to assess all of these sites," White said.

"Each site is bound by planning policy and we also need to discover if the land owners are willing to do a deal."

Grosvenor says the financing for the new stadium is secure, but questions remain over how the facility's running costs will be covered.

The U's are struggling to meet their costs at the Abbey, but White says the new development will open fresh revenue streams to the club.

"The plan is to have several revenue spin-offs for the football club with conference facilities, retail facilities and hotel facilities," he said.

"At the moment they struggle to generate additional revenue to meet their running costs, but that should change."

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see also
Landlords begin U's consultation
27 Jul 10 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge upbeat over Abbey talks
26 May 10 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge fans fail in Abbey bid
25 Mar 10 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge ground set to be sold
26 Feb 10 |  Cambridge Utd

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